THE Joint Task Force COVID Shield yesterday called on the citizenry to report violators of quarantine protocols specifically non-wearing of face masks and social distancing violations to their hotlines and social media accounts of local Philippine National Police units in their communities.
JTF COVID Shield commander Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has given the go-signal to all police commanders to strengthen the process of reporting and filing of complaints related to quarantine violations at the barangay levels as part of the strict enforcement of mandatory wearing of face masks and other minimum health safety standard protocols against the coronavirus disease.
He said that the cooperation of residents at the barangay level would be encouraged if they have the means to report violations by their neighbors, especially if their identities would not be known.
“Alam ng mga tao sa barangay kung sino ang hindi nagsusuot ng face masks at sinu-sino ang madalas mag-umpukan para mag-inuman, magsugal at mag-tsismis sa kani-kanilang barangay na violation ng ating quarantine rules. At naniniwala kami na maraming gustong magsumbong dahil alam nila kung gaano kaseryoso ang banta ng COVID-19 pero natatakot o nahihiya silang i-report ito dahil mga kamag-anak at kapitbahay nila ang mga violator,” Lt. Gen. Eleazar said.
“But if we would give them the opportunity to report all the violations in their barangays without compromising their identities, we in the JTF COVID Shield believe that this would further strengthen our efforts to strengthen the enforcement of wearing of face masks and other quarantine rules as ordered by President Duterte,” he added.
Eleazar tasked all police commanders to make sure that all their existing hotline numbers are working, and if none, new hotline numbers should be made available as soon as possible.
He said that city and municipal police stations could also use their respective social media accounts where the barangay residents could send a direct message for any information relating to quarantine violations in their communities.
The official also urged all barangay councils to make available their own hotline numbers to give their respective constituents the chance to report quarantine violators for immediate action.
Strengthening the barangay reporting system of quarantine violations, he explained, is a good start for good working relationship and interoperability of the local police and the barangay security officers, or popularly known as barangay tanods.
Gen. Gamboa earlier approved the designation of Quarantine Rules Supervisors, or PNP COVID Focal Persons, in the country'smore than 42,000 barangays for the strict enforcement of the minimum health standard protocols at the community level.
The QRS are tasked to supervise the barangay tanods in the enforcement of quarantine rules such as wearing of face masks, observation of physical distancing and prohibition of parties and celebrations and other forms of mass gathering.
Once quarantine violation reports are received at the police station, the local police could initiate operations. On the other hand, the barangays, after receiving quarantine violations in their respective hotlines, could either conduct operations of their own using the barangay tanods or coordinate with the designated QRS in their respective barangays for police intervention.
Eleazar urged police commanders to coordinate with their respective Local Government Units (LGUs) for the printing of tarpaulins featuring the hotline numbers for reporting of quarantine violations that would be posted in conspicuous places in the barangay.
Any resident could report to the JTF COVID Shiled hotlines: 0998-849-0013 for Smart users and 0917-538-2495 for Globe users. The JTF COVID Shield an also reached through its email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PNP Helpline 16677 can also be contacted, he added.